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PLoS One. 2015 Dec 14;10(12):e0143237. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143237. eCollection 2015.

Diversity of ABBA Prenyltransferases in Marine Streptomyces sp. CNQ-509: Promiscuous Enzymes for the Biosynthesis of Mixed Terpenoid Compounds.

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Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmaceutical Institute, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Microbial Biotechnology, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Microbial Genomics and Biotechnology, Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.


Terpenoids are arguably the largest and most diverse family of natural products, featuring prominently in e.g. signalling, self-defence, UV-protection and electron transfer. Prenyltransferases are essential players in terpenoid and hybrid isoprenoid biosynthesis that install isoprene units on target molecules and thereby often modulate their bioactivity. In our search for new prenyltransferase biocatalysts we focused on the marine-derived Streptomyces sp. CNQ-509, a particularly rich source of meroterpenoid chemistry. Sequencing and analysis of the genome of Streptomyces sp. CNQ-509 revealed seven putative phenol/phenazine-specific ABBA prenyltransferases, and one putative indole-specific ABBA prenyltransferase. To elucidate the substrate specificity of the ABBA prenyltransferases and to learn about their role in secondary metabolism, CnqP1 -CnqP8 were produced in Escherichia coli and incubated with various aromatic and isoprenoid substrates. Five of the eight prenyltransferases displayed enzymatic activity. The efficient conversion of dihydroxynaphthalene derivatives by CnqP3 (encoded by AA958_24325) and the co-location of AA958_24325 with genes characteristic for the biosynthesis of THN (tetrahydroxynaphthalene)-derived natural products indicates that the enzyme is involved in the formation of debromomarinone or other naphthoquinone-derived meroterpenoids. Moreover, CnqP3 showed high flexibility towards a range of aromatic and isoprenoid substrates and thus represents an interesting new tool for biocatalytic applications.

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